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Global assessment of human losses due to earthquakes

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Abstract

Current studies have demonstrated a sharp increase in human losses due to earthquakes. These alarming levels of casualties suggest the need for large-scale investment in seismic risk mitigation, which, in turn, requires an adequate understanding of the extent of the losses, and location of the most affected regions. Recent developments in global and uniform datasets such as instrumental and historical earthquake catalogues, population spatial distribution and country-based vulnerability functions, have opened an unprecedented possibility for a reliable assessment of earthquake consequences at a global scale. In this study, a uniform probabilistic seismic hazard assessment (PSHA) model was employed to derive a set of global seismic hazard curves, using the open-source software OpenQuake for seismic hazard and risk analysis. These results were combined with a collection of empirical fatality vulnerability functions and a population dataset to calculate average annual human losses at the country level. The results from this study highlight the regions/countries in the world with a higher seismic risk, and thus where risk reduction measures should be prioritized.

Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Global assessment of human losses due to earthquakes
Year Published 2014
Language English
Contributing office(s) Geologic Hazards Science Center
Description 10 p.
Conference Title Second European Conference on Earthquake Engineering
Conference Location Istanbul, Turkey
Conference Date August 25-29, 2014
Other Geospatial Earth